The money, which will be generated through the issuing of bonds and from export credit agencies, will form part of the US$14B that Eskom and independent power producers are expected to spend to build new power stations between now and 2010.

An additional 5000MW is needed in the next five years to avert widespread power outages. According to the government’s revised energy plan, Eskom would provide 70% of South Africa’s new generating capacity, and independent producers the rest.

Eskom’s infrastructure investment involves building a new thermal power station; a hydroelectric pumped storage scheme; two open-cycle gas-turbine plants; and a fluidised bed combustion plant.